Building Better Healthcare Awards 2013 - Your guide to entering the Best Primary Care Design category

What are the judges looking for from this year's winner?

The Barrhead Health and Care Centre in Glasgow won the award for Best Out of Hospital Design in 2012. The judges will be looking for a design of similar standard as the winner in this year\'s Primary Care Design category

This week we continue our guide to entry for this year’s Building Better Healthcare Awards.

The second of our five awards in the Building Design class is the Award for Best Primary Care Design, which will be presented to an exemplary new-build or refurbishment project of any size that has been designed to create a positive, supportive and therapeutic environment for patients, visitors/carers and staff. This can include, but is not restricted to, GP clinics, health centres, dental surgeries and multi-use facilities/polyclinics.

When making their decision the judging panel will be looking for a facility that became fully operational between 1 January 2012 and 1 June 2013 and makes a significant contribution to the quality of the patient experience and the surrounding community.

Your entry you will need to sum up the scheme in 500 words or less, being sure to address how it meets the criteria the judges have set out for the specific category. Click here for the criteria for this award.

This overview of your entry is your only chance to grab the attention of our judges. Therefore, failure to cover all of the points laid out in the criteria could result in your entry not making the shortlist. The judges can only make their decision based on the information you put in front of them.

Accompanying images should illustrate the issues outlined in your written submission, with actual pictures of the building in operation more readily welcomed by the judges than artists’ impressions or computer-animated drawings. Our judges are some of the most widely respected in the field of building design and the patient experience, so they will be looking closely at the overall impact the design has on the way staff, patients and visitors move around and use the building. While bold architecture and feats of engineering can undoubtedly produce buildings that make a striking impact , your entry must explain the thinking behind them and how they positively affect patients and the local environment.

Building Better Healthcare editor, Jo Makosinski, said: “It is important that the entry is completed by a senior member of the team as they are in the best position to describe the benefits and the thinking behind the project. In addition, entries need to be clearly written and succinct; dealing only with the details and impact of the development and how it will demonstrate improvements on what is currently available. This should be supported by genuine comments from patients and clinicians. If these guidelines are followed then the judges will have sufficient information on which to make an informed decision.”

The category is a returning one for 2013 to reflect the emphasis currently being placed on the primary care sector with the introduction of GP clinical commissioning groups.

Last year the judges chose Barrhead Health and Care Centre (Avanti Architects) as their winner in the Out-of-Hospital Care Facility Design category, and they will be looking for a similarly impressive development this year.

Barrhead was praised for bringing together a range of facilities, including adult mental health services, podiatry, physiotherapy and sexual health together with GP and dental practices. The judges were also impressed by the involvement of staff and members of the community in the design and the use of sustainable features including natural ventilation and daylight and low-energy lighting.

And in 2011 the judges chose Baldry Gardens Health Centre (Reiach and Hall Architects), part of a major primary care service strategy to improve healthcare for patients in Streatham, south London. The judges said of the project: "The building was designed with the user at the centre and as a result offers welcoming, reassuring, understandable spaces both for staff and users."

Andy Law, head judge in the Building Design class, said: “We are looking for designs that recognise the needs of patients, the needs of staff and which, importantly, contribute to the local environment.”

Do you think you have a project that could qualify for the Award for Best Primary Care Design ? If so, click here to read more about this year’s event and all the categories, and to submit your entry. The closing date is 28 June and each entry costs just £99 plus VAT. You can enter as many categories as you wish, but entries must be adapted to suit the particular category being entered.

Click here to see all the winners from 2012 and the reasons they were singled out for praise by our judges.

If you need further help or advice on your entry call Jo Makosinski on 020 7193 8083 or email There are also some exciting opportunities to sponsor awards and to exhibit at the champagne reception that will be held prior to the awards ceremony. To discuss a tailor-made package, or to book your seat at the ceremony, contact Stephen Fontana by email at or call 020 7193 1641; or Ali Badr or call 020 7193 6654.

Best of luck!